The Godfather of Adult Orthodontics
Part 1 Of A 3 Part Series
By: Kenny Hackett
Dr. Marvin Goldstein started his Orthodontic practice in 1941. This practice would eventually become known as West Paces Ferry Orthodontics. Along the way, Dr. Goldstein had some impressive achievements. In this three-part series, we will explore some of these achievements in more detail.
In 1947 in a paper entitled “Adult Orthodontics” Dr. Goldstein made an extensive study of the available literature on orthodontic treatments of the time and found little mention of adult orthodontics. He concluded that orthodontic treatment was not attempted if the patient was over 20 years old. Dr. Goldstein quickly realized there was no legitimate rationale as to why adults couldn’t be treated successfully with orthodontic therapy. He also realized that adults needed to be treated differently than children. Dr. Goldstein told the Orlando Sun Sentinel ” Many adults who have orthodontic work, even if the treatment is begun in middle age or later, may be able to keep their remaining teeth all their lives.” This was radical thinking at the time. Many orthodontists not willing to accept the changes Dr. Goldstein was pioneering went as far as sending him hate mail.
Dr. Goldstein found that adults could be treated, but the treatment was not achieved the same way. Since there is not a clinically significant amount of growth in the adult, one must consider how best to accomplish tooth movement. For instance, before tooth movement space may need to be secured within which to move the teeth. This space can be achieved by extracting a tooth or several, or by interproximal reduction.
Another trend Dr. Goldstein changed was when a patient sees the orthodontist. A generation ago it was all too common for the adult seeking orthodontic treatment to see the orthodontist only after having extensive periodontal or aesthetic dental work completed. Now it is advisable for only the worst periodontal problems to be treated before seeing the orthodontist. Also, cavities should be filled but crowns, implants, and extensive restorations should be done after orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows for all needs to be addressed to take advantage of creating space while preserving the teeth with the greatest potential to remain healthy.
History has proven Dr. Goldstein correct, as now almost all orthodontist treat adults as well as children. Dr. Kristin Huber and Dr. Paul Yurfest continue to innovate orthodontic therapies that make new treatments ever more efficient and effective here at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.
Are there dental concerns you thought could not be treated?